#829STRIKE
Fast food workers went on strike in cities across the country this week to demand higher pay. (Graphic from the SEIU.)

INSTITUTE INDEX: Striking for fast food justice

Fast food workers went on strike in cities across the country this week to demand higher pay. (Graphic from the SEIU.)
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Number of U.S. cities where fast food workers waged strikes this week as part of a campaign to raise wages: 58

Number of those cities in the South: 11*

Number of workers in the Triangle region of North Carolina, the state with the nation's lowest unionization rate, who joined the strike: about 50

Hourly pay they're demanding: $15

Current federal minimum wage: $7.25

Median hour pay nationally for fast food workers: $8.94

Annual salary that amounts to for someone working full-time, which many fast food workers do not: about $18,500

The Census Bureau's poverty-level income threshold for a family of four: $23,000

Value of the U.S. fast-food sector: $200 billion

Profits earned last year alone by McDonald's: $5.47 billion

Lucia Gareia Legua's weekly earnings from her job at a McDonald's in Raleigh, N.C., a wage that forces her to rely on food stamps to feed her three children: about $200

As of 2005, number of children of McDonald's employees in Alabama who were enrolled in Medicaid, the taxpayer-supported public health care program for the poor: 1,931

Number of children of McDonald's employees in Florida who were enrolled in Medicaid in 2005: 8,100

Of those workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage, percent who are at least 20 years old: 88

Who are at least 40 years old: 35.5

Who are women: 56

Who have children: 28

Who work 35 hours per week or more: 55

Since 1990, percent decline in manufacturing's share of U.S. jobs: 50

Percent increase in food service jobs over the same period: 25

* Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C,; Gretna, La.; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans; Raleigh, N.C.

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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